National (Dave Telep)
Last week Scout.com released its 2008 spring individual rankings. While there wasn't a change in the top spot – Greg Monroe kept his place – some new names emerged and played their way into prominent spots in our rankings.
Movers and Shakers
Ed Davis, PF, Richmond (Va.) Benedictine – Since his arrival on the scene in January of 2006, Davis has steadily improved. In a head-to-head matchup with Monroe in April, Davis out dueled the Louisianan. Long, angular and competitive he presently occupies the coveted No. 2 slot with his eye on moving up one rung on the ladder.
Iman Shumpert, SG/PG, Oak Park (Ill.) Oak Park & River Forest – He's the perfect storm: talented, big for his position and a late bloomer. In short, the combo guard is everything you could want in a wing prospect and he's playing into all-american status. Late bloomers are the best kind of recruits and for a guy who averaged 5 points a game as a sophomore in high school he's sure made strides since 2006. Shumpert forced his way to No. 15 on the list.
Elliot Williams, SG, Collierville (Tenn.) St. George's – An outstanding high school year carried over into the AAU season and his No. 17 ranking is justified. Athletic, multi-positional and equally talented in the classroom, Williams is in rarefied air with his recruitment.
Kenny Kadji, C, Bradenton (Fla.) IMG – At No. 19 in the nation, Kadji's been aggressively vaulted into the Top 20. In a year that appears average nationally; we've done some homework and aggressively moved a few bigs into the Top 25 a few months ahead of their natural progression. At nearly 7-feet, Kadji has soft hands and scoring tools. It's up to him to make the necessary strides to achieve his vast pro-tential.
Tyler Zeller, PF, Washington (Ind.) High – Easily one of the most pleasant surprises of the spring. The brother of Irish sophomore Luke Zeller, Tyler has moved ahead of his brother's pace at the same stage. Again, he's a bit of a late bloomer who has found self confidence and mixed it with a skill package that has high-major programs moving from their "must evaluate" to their "must sign" lists. He's No. 25 and he belongs.
The 2008 West Coast class of point guards is terrific and we have another name to add to an already strong group. Reggie Chambers, a 5-9 quick point from West High in Salt Lake City (Utah), is hearing from multiple mid to high majors. According to Dave Hammer, Chambers' club coach, Gonzaga, Utah State and Arizona State currently top the list.
West Coat (Greg Hicks)
The Fullcourt Press Spring Showcase was held recently at Jordan High in Long Beach, Calif. This is one of the events we look forward to every year, as event organizer Dinos Trigonis does a good job of finding talented, young kids for the Showcase. This year was no exception and we got a look at several intriguing young prospects.
Kendall Williams, 6-2 FR PG/SG Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) Los Osos, was the top prospect in the freshman game. Williams is a very skilled prospect, with a live body. He's a natural scorer and he can create his own shot seemingly at will. Williams has the tools to play the one, but his scoring ability may mean he spends some time at the two as well.
Tyler Lamb, 6-4 FR SG Ontario (Calif.) Colony, was another impressive freshman. He's not a particularly explosive athlete, but Lamb is highly skilled and showed a good feel for the game. He's got good size for a two and solid shot to the stripe. It's too early to predict a level for him in college, but he's one of the more talented freshmen in the west.
The sophomore game was filled with long, rangy athletes. Some of the more intriguing players included Devonte Elliott, 6-6 SO SF Paramount (Calif.) High, Jordan Mackie, 6-3 SO SG Los Angeles (Calif.) Dorsey, D'Sean Anderson, 6-5 SO SF Long Beach (Calif.) Poly and Stephen Heard, 6-6 SO SF Long Beach (Calif.) Jordan.
East Coast (Mike Sullivan)
Some from the New York City area contend that 6-foot-6 swingman James Southerland of Cardozo High School in Bayside, could take two years at a prep school. Southerland, considered a 2008 prospect, may reclassify to the class of 2009 and seek out a prep school to make proper adjustments in his academic situation too. But now Southerland, like all high school players, must consider the new rules put in place by the NCAA.
Several sources state that Southerland has indicated an in interest in attending South Kent in Connecticut. It would give Southerland a chance to make improvements both academically and on the court. Southerland, who battled an ankle injury this season as a junior, is a skilled shooter who needs to strengthen his frame to be a consistent college player.
Southerland has given a verbal commitment to Syracuse University. So Southerland would have a couple of years to prove he is Big East material...
Rutgers recruit Mike Rosario displayed his offensive skills at IS8 recently. The multi-talented guard from the Playaz Basketball Club of New Jersey, ripped off 15 first quarter points to set the pace for a 70-41 victory over Team Tex in the IS8 Spring League. He's ranked in Scout.com's recent Top 100 list.
Rosario, who has already given a commitment to Rutgers, rattled off four three-pointers in the game. He didn't play the final quarter but finished the game with 20 points to lead his team in scoring. "I'm looking forward to playing in the Big East with Rutgers," Rosario said. "They have an up and coming program. I think I can help out."
His smooth deliver and solid guard play helped the Playaz jettison to a 36-22 halftime advantage. By the time Rosario was finished playing, the Playaz junior squad had elevated the lead to 52-33. "I felt good in the first quarter, I had my shots," Rosario said. "I had plenty of chances to take the open shot."
Mike was recruited by most of the area Big East teams. He is a 2008 prospect and expects to play in several high profile AAU events this spring and summer.